Sunday, March 30, 2014

Well as you guys have probably figured out this blog is no more. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes a new blog is here!  America's first hats only blog is here at

So come on over and follow me there. Same ridiculousness, just not all about TV anymore.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Thoughts On Four Summer Shows

Rescue Me:  As much as I am still enjoying this show.... For the LOVE OF GOD will someone hand Tommy a bottle of whiskey?! This show does not get to end with "and they all lived happily after".

Entourage: You ever see one of those marathon highlights where the runner shits themselves and keeps going? I always think "You know what? I'd rather see a 24 mile run followed by a quick deuce in a port-a-potty and a bus ride to the finish."  Same here. This show ran out of steam and now the highlight of the show is an 80 year old Andrew Dice Clay still in full Dice Man regalia. Yet somehow I can't turn it off...

True Blood: Seriously, why is Tara still alive? Rutina Wesley could give soap opera actors lessons on shitty acting. Why keep this dead weight around your neck every week?

Breaking Bad: Nothing snarky to say here.  In fact can I wash the writers' cars?

Monday, August 1, 2011


Over the last five years Louis CK has firmly yanked the coveted Best Stand Up Comedian crown from Chris Rock and run with it. Now he's threatening to toss in Funniest Show On TV honors to boot with his second and far funnier show Louie.

So few comedians are able to mine their own work so effectively and produce a great sitcom. Seinfeld and Bill Cosby are really the only two that come to mind (screw off Rosanne fans, that show wasn't that great). Considering both Seinfeld and The Cosby Show rate in my top ten of all-time I'd say this bodes well for Louie.

Is the show funny?  Absolutely.  What I did not expect was the sincerity.  Louis CK explores his humanity on TV for us on a weekly basis. He tackles racial issues better than any show since The Wire. Week in and week out we get a stark appraisal of the life of a father in a broken home that is equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking.

And maybe its cheating, but the decision to insert clips of him doing his amazing stand up is brilliant.  As great as the show is, I still look forward to that moment in the show when he's standing in front of the brick wall in some comedy dungeon going on a brilliant jag about Mark Twain.

More than any comedian I've ever seen I feel like the pain he is going through fuels his comedy. I feel guilty watching this show sometimes because I know that I'm being given joy directly from his most painful experiences. It's like I am some sort of TV vampire feeding off watching him spew his pain onto the screen for me week by week. But fuck it, here's hoping he gets cancer or something because I know that shit will be HILARIOUS.

* Louie can be seen every Thursday at 10:30 PM on FX.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rescue Me Season Seven Premiere

As depressing as the first six seasons have been I can't even begin to imagine how they'll trump them in this final season. Don't worry, they seem poised to make an honest run at it. The fact alone that Tommy isn't getting it on with Sheila (Callie Thorne) is enough to bring a tear to my eye.

Tommy finds out that Janet is pregnant and follows her to the appointment.  In typical Gavin fashion this leads to Tommy nearly being hospitalized after jumping on the hood of her car. Flashforward five months, these geniuses are keeping it.

Not to worry, recovering alcoholics Mickey and Teddy have opened a bar together.  To make things worse they have hired Tommy's recovering alcoholic daughter Colleen wo waitress.  This is all going smashingly until her boyfriend proposes. Upon her acceptance and his exit she downs enough to booze to pass into that sweet oblivion that vodka so generously offers.

I'm not huge on recaps because I get worried the wrong person will see them then bitch me out for getting spoiled so I'll just say this. Tommy's response involves a shotgun.  And shockingly no booze. 

To be honest, I was a little disappointed.  I always like this show best when he is in a full on tailspin of whiskey and self-destruction and was kind of hoping that's what the final season had in store for us. Luckily there is a whole season ahead of us, I'll hold out hope.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursdays Without Community Suck

Summer is finally upon us, or as I like to call it "The Annoying Time Of The Year When I'm Sweating All The Time And I Don't Get To Watch Community". Thankfully Sketch Blogger Victor Perfecto made this awesome tribute to Community's Star Wars themed finale:

For those of you not well-versed in nerdery this is a great adaptation of the Return Of The Jedi movie poster. Maybe we can start a twitter campaign for Donald Glover to play Spiderman? #DONALD4SKYWALKER

Check out Victor Perfekto's blog Coffee And Comics Stunted My Growth to see more of his art.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guest Post: 2011 World Series Of Poker On ESPN

Fans of poker tournaments circle June and July on their calendars every year, as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is held every June/July in Las Vegas, with all the stars of the poker world turning out. Headlined by the $10,000 Main Event tournament (which annually gets the most entries of any WSOP tournament), the WSOP consists of nearly 60 different tournaments, with buy-ins ranging from $1,000 all the way up to $50,000.

For poker players and fans that can’t make it out to Vegas to see the action live, ESPN broadcasts the Main Event each and every year, and for 2011 it has also added final table coverage of some of the preliminary events. ESPN’s Main Event coverage begins in late July (just a few weeks after the action has wrapped up in Vegas), with weekly broadcasts shown in the months leading up to early November when the final table of nine players return to Vegas to crown a Main Event champion.

2011 marks the first year that ESPN offered online broadcasts of selected final tables as well, with the extra coverage shown on high definition on Daily coverage of two featured tables at the Main Event will be shown on ESPN2/; the “live” coverage (delayed by 30 minutes because of gaming regulations) will show every hand played on the featured tables unedited with hole cards available post-flop (for all players still in the hand). The coverage will shift between two feature tables approximately every 30 minutes, and will show all “all-in” and “call” situations at both tables.

ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event has been highlighted by many as being a key factor in the popularity of poker games around the world, which really started to boom in 2003 when amateur Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event. Millions of people saw his underdog victory on ESPN (and the millions in prize money he won) and decided to give the game a try themselves, leading to a surge in popularity for poker that still continues to day and has spread around the world.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Exclusive Shawn Ryan Interview

Who could possibly follow Kurt Sutter?  None other than his good friend Shawn Ryan of course.  Shawn was very generous with his time and answered a few questions for DVR Assassin and our readers.  I say "our" because it sounds way more pretentious than admitting it's just me here.  Don't pester me about that, I need things like that. So without further ado:

It is so refreshing finding someone in Show Biz who is NOT a Lakers fan. As a Bulls fan, how relieved were you to see Kobe fail to get ring number six inevitably prompting more idiots to compare him to Jordan?

SR:  I try not to root for other people to fail, but sometimes I need to break that rule to include Kobe, the Miami heat and the Packers. Had to settle for 2 out of 3 successful jinxes this past year.

One constant in every Shawn Ryan show seems to be a fantastic cast. How do you manage to consistently put together such outstanding groups of actors?

SR: First, thanks for that. We always spend a lot of time and see as many people as we possibly can before casting. I try not to make too many direct offers to actors without seeing them read or at the very least having time to sit down and talk to them extensively about the role. You do have to be willing to risk your pilot to adopt such an attitude though. On The Chicago Code we were one of the first pilots picked up and we were probably the last one to be cast. I was being threatened that the pilot would be pushed (or even cancelled altogether) if we didn’t cast quickly, but I think it’s better to not make a pilot with the wrong cast. So we held out and ultimately got Jason Clarke (who hadn’t been available a month earlier) and the rest of the cast fell into place after that. The ultimate lesson is to not compromise and to have patience, patience, patience with casting.

Delroy Lindo was so amazing on The Chicago Code that I really found it difficult to root against him. I have the same problem when I watch Justified, I can’t help but pull for Walton Goggins. When you are making a show do you ever worry that your villains might just be too charismatic?

SR: Never. If that starts to feel like the case you just need to write your lead characters better. It’s an old saying that a movie (or in this case a TV show) is only as good as your villain, so I want the “bad guy” to be fun to watch and to have some aspects that make you sympathize with him/her. It helps then to have an actor as good as Delroy to play the part.

Did the spectre of cancellation force you to alter the timeline in regards to Alderman Gibbons' apprehension?

SR: No. We wrote and shot all the episodes before the first episode of the show even aired, so we were prepared for cancellation or Season 2. We always planned on the Gibbons storyline being a one season story. We would have launched a Season 2 with a new storyline, though we probably would have also tried to bring Delroy back for a few episodes.

Having written so many shows with such great characters, is there the one character above all that sticks out to you as a personal favorite?

SR: Probably Vic Mackey since that was the first show I created and the character (as played brilliantly by Michael Chiklis) really seemed to strike a chord with the public. Also have a soft spot in my heart for Hank and Britt on Terriers. But honestly, there hasn’t been one show I’ve worked on that I haven’t loved writing for those characters. No point doing it if you don’t love it.

I loved The Unit, but I always felt the episodes dealing with supernatural forces felt a little out of place. What were you guys going for with those episodes (I'm thinking of the Spear Of Destiny episode specifically)? 

SR: I don’t think we did too many of those, but I understand the resistance on your part. I will say that when you talk to Delta guys who have spent a lot of time in different parts of the world they will talk about strange things happening on occasion which are hard to explain. So those episodes were our attempt to tap into those kinds of things. But I understand completely if they weren’t your favorites.

The action on The Unit looked like an actual movie each and every week. How were you able to stay on a TV budget and still pull this off?

SR: Our production team did an amazing job (led by producer Vahan Moosekian, after whom I named Vonda and Isaac’s boss on The Chicago Code). We also tried to put them in a position to succeed by letting them know weeks ahead of time if we had something big or difficult coming up (like our Sub episode in Season 2). This allowed the production team and directors to maximize their time and money.

Is there any truth to the persistent rumors that you were a highly paid ghost writer for all three of the Big Momma movies? If so, what was it like to work with Martin Lawrence?

SR: Ha! Not true. Wouldn’t mind the residuals on some of those films though.

The first time I watched The Shield finale I was absolutely sick to my stomach. By the next day I realized that it was probably the best finale in TV history. The end of that series reminded me of The Sixth Sense the way it forced me to look back at the whole series and go "Wait a minute, Vic is an asshole!" Was it always your intention to have us rooting for Vic the entire length of the series and then pull the rug out from under us?

SR: Thanks for the compliment. I never intended to decide for the audience who to root for or against in the series. I was initially very surprised at how many viewers were rooting for Vic and forgiving of all his misdeeds, but Chikie was so compelling and charismatic as Vic that I came to expect that reaction. However, that never led me to forget who the character was, so I wasn’t afraid to show it in the last couple episodes.

What shows does Shawn Ryan enjoy on TV these days?

SR: A lot of comedies. Always Sunny, Archer, Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, Parks and Rec, Community, Party Down (before it got cancelled). In the drama area I was really impressed with what Game of Thrones did. In the reality arena, I really love Shark Tank.

With the increased freedom your Sony deal provides have you given any thought to making a show for someone like HBO?

SR: Yes. Don’t tell anyone.

Anything you'd like to say to your fans before we wrap this up?

SR: I wouldn’t be able to make these shows if people didn’t watch, so thanks so much to all those who have. I’ve always tried very hard to make the shows as good as they can be, and I’ll continue to do so. I consider it a privilege to be handed an hour of television time and I try to respect the viewers’ time as well.

On a personal note, Shawn Ryan was an absolutely nice guy to talk to throughout this.  For someone with so much on his plate, to go out of his way like this was beyond charitable.  So the next time he is making an awesome show like Terriers how about you knuckleheads tune in?

You can follow Shawn Ryan on twitter @ShawnRyanTV.